More clarity is emerging around a series of scandalous decisions Canada has recently made in an attempt to suppress a civil protest, organized by truckers.
Among those decisions was the one trying to directly deprive the protesters participating in what is known as Freedom Convoy of their livelihoods by freezing their bank accounts. Another was to block their access to donations on crowd-funding platforms.
To justify these moves that were radical enough to might have just reshaped the face of democracy as it had been previously known – Canada’s authorities invoked the Emergencies Act.
And, anti-terrorism financing laws.
But now it’s official – it was never about any sort of “terrorism.” It was just a regime looking, rather chaotically and unnecessarily, for a way to sustain itself. Those who put their money where their mouth was during the trucker protest were simply citizens who identified with a cause – something that should be perfectly admissible in a true democracy. And that cause happened to be seeking to end the highly disruptive to everyday life, and ongoing for too long Covid mandates.
In the words of Barry MacKillop, deputy director of Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center, who spoke before Canada’s House of Commons finance committee on Thursday – the money the organizers managed to raise was not only NOT “cash that funded terrorism or was in any way money laundering” – it was simply a way for people living in what they thought was a democratic country believing was a safe way of expressing their position on an issue.
These citizens – subsequently, evidently treated by their government as potential “terrorists” and “money launderers” – were in fact “fed up with COVID and were upset (…) and just wanted to support the cause” – as MacKillop phrased it.
Whether making things worse, or better, this official also said that these acts of support happened before Canada outlawed them.
Why did Canada even “outlaw” this, though? There’s another question for another committee. Or not.
Eventually, the thing seems to come down to people entrusted with power coming back to play mind-games with their constituents, to force them to behave in a certain way.
Canada’s Minister of Finance and Deputy PM Chrystia Freeland pretty much spelled it out: it was all about “convincing” those donating to the cause to “listen to reason.”